Food and drugs: when treatment can turn out to be poisonous?

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The vast majority of us, at least occasionally, take some medicine, at least banal anti-cold medicines. Did you know that combinations of certain medicinal products with certain foods can be dangerous to the organism? Food and drugs can enter into unpredictable interactions. Further in this article you’ll learn about the six most dangerous combinations of drugs with food.

№1 Paracetamol and alcohol

In order to dissolve alcohol and paracetamol, the same enzyme is used inside the organism. Therefore, between intakes of this medical substance and the consumption of alcohol should pass at least 6 hours. If you need to take paracetamol for a long period of time, then it is better to give up alcohol completely. Otherwise, there might appear serious irregularities in the work of liver and kidneys.

№2 Cough medicines, statins and a lime

If you take statins (medicines that lower cholesterol), then for sure your health care professional advised you not to drink grapefruit juice while taking the medications. The same applies to lime, as well as pomelo. The thing is that these fruits inhibit the production of the enzyme, which is responsible for processing statins and some cough medicines. Thus, this drug-food interaction results in accumulation of the stanins in the blood, which contributes to the occurrence of side effects.

 A combination of citrus fruits with dextromethorphan (active ingredient in many cough medicines) might lead to hallucinations and drowsiness. And when combined with statins, muscles can be seriously damaged.

Doctors advise to observe a minimum 24-hour interval between the intake of these drugs and citrus fruits.

№ 3 Warfarin and cinnamon

The drug Warfarin is used for the dilution of blood. To better assimilate it, you need to eat foods rich in vitamin K, for example, leafy greens and broccoli. But there are also foods that are better to refuse from when taking Warfarin. Not everybody knows that cheap Chinese or Vietnamese cinnamon contains a substance called coumarin, which also dilutes blood. A combination of Warfarin and coumarin, can lead to serious liver damage, so it is better to avoid this combination in every possible way. Food and drug interactions in this case should be thoroughly considered before the onset of treatment.

№ 4 Dairy products and antibiotics

Dairy products can worsen the absorption of antibiotics. Some kinds of antibiotics (for example, ciprofloxacin) can enter into reaction with calcium in the gastrointestinal tract. As a result of this reaction, the action of the antibiotic can be dramatically reduced. In general, medical professionals do not recommend combining dairy products with fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines.

№ 5 Antidepressants and smoked food

Carefully study the composition of your antidepressants. If they are made on the basis of an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase (MAO), then their consumption together with products rich in the substance tyramine (amino acid), which is contained in smoked foods, can be dangerous for health. The combination of MAO with tyramine can lead to a significant increase in blood pressure. In this case, it should be noted that tyramine is found not only in shish kebabs and smoked products, but also in wine, sour cabbage, half-finished products and beer. Therefore, if you take antidepressants, then with these products you need to be more careful. You can find out more information about medicine and food interaction from your therapist.

№ 6 Medicines for allergies and apple juice

If you take medicine for allergies, then do not combine them with apple juice. Also do not use grapefruit or orange juice to wash these medicines down. It is necessary to wait at least 4 hours after taking the drug, before you can consume juices. These juices contain substances that inhibit the action of the peptide transporting the medicine from the intestine to the blood.

Generally, in order to wash down medicines you should always use clean, non-carbonated water at room temperature. This is a win-win option. Only in very rare cases, other beverages are used and this should be clearly indicated in the instructions. It’s best to read the instruction before you buy a medicine. It’s very convenient if you buy medicines online in Greece online pharmacies, because to do so, you don’t need to leave your home. Further there is a list of medicines that never and in no case can be drunk with juices and compotes. If you are treated with these medicinal products you need to wait some time before drinking compotes and juices. These medicines are: antibiotics, cardiac glycosides, sulfonamides, antacids (to reduce the acidity of gastric juice), aspirin and medicines to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol.

And finally, let's talk about common food-drug interactions using specific examples and what this can lead to.

Antidepressants + cheese, sauerkraut, soy sauce, liver, jerky and stockfish, yogurt, figs, sour cream = the blood pressure rises sharply.

Antibiotics + milk, milk products, acidic foods = medicine is neutralized.

Anticoagulants + cranberries = can cause bleeding.

Painkillers + smoked food = medicine is neutralized.

Iron-containing medicines + coffee, tea, flour products and sweets, dairy products, nuts = complicates the absorption of iron by the organism.

Anti-rheumatoid medicines + raw vegetables and fruits, fried foods, mushrooms, meat or fish broth = difficulty digestion.

Last update: Jul 28, 2017

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